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Vol. I. No. 23. SATURDAY, AUGUST 6, 1836.
Price 13d. HINTS ON SPIRITUAL DEPRESSION. Do we carefully employ the appointed means of No. II.
keeping alive and strengthening in us the prinBY THE Rev. WILLIAM MUIR, D.D.,
ciples of the divine life? Do we cultivate, by
daily exercise, the sentiments and habits of Minister of St Stephen's Parish, Edinburgh.
Christian trust and righteousness? Do we cheAn alternative is called for in the mode of treat- rish grace in the heart, the flame of which is not ing cases of spiritual depression. The occasion only to cheer and gladden by its light, but by its of anxiety and despondency has to be laid open, power is to consume the dross of the affections, either that it may be rebuked, or that it may be and purify the fine gold? These inquiries, with sympathised with; either to give warning, or im- the humiliating alternative to which they point, part encouragement;—though the difficulty is often are often needed for detecting the secret cause of great of knowing when the one mode of treat- spiritual depression, and consequently, in the first ment is needed, and when the other.
instance, for the purposes of rebuke and warning. Undoubtedly, offering comfort to the distress- No hasty attempt, therefore, to comfort and encoued is what benevolence instantaneously prompts. rage, is to make us overlook their importance. But to do this at once, without any discrimina- They must not be put aside, nor postponed, nor tion of cases, is not wise. It may serve at times blunted. And in faithfully urging them, it must merely to hide the source of evil; to cherish the never he forgotten, that spiritual depression may persuasion of soundness, while no cure is wrought ; originate in what infests the mind with an “evil to thwart conscience in the most salutary of her root of bitterness ;” and what, accordingly, for exercises, or actually to “ resist the Spirit” in obtaining peace, must be removed; and, to be reone of his ways of bringing the soul to final moved, must be searched and seen. peace.
“ Ye have healed the wound of the It is true, that the humiliation and painfulness daughter of my people slightly,” is a charge laid arising from such inquiries, in minds of peculiar against the false prophets.
sensibility, may occasionally have the effect of Instances of spiritual depression occur, there- sinking them below the horizon of Christian light: fore, in which the wise treatment, instead of at a circumstance which prescribes the need of wisely once applying the balm of comfort, employs first discriminating the cases of spiritual depression, the probe of serious and awakening inquiries. and suiting the treatment to each respectively. It To strike the more solemn fear on the subject of is true, besides, that suggestions of fear and sada personal interest in the divine favour, is often ness are often shot forth as envenomed darts from the best means of at last fixing hope unchange the quiver of the malevolent archer, who wounds ably in God. Anxiety sisting the genuineness of though he cannot destroy. It is true, also, that faith in the Saviour, may lead to the calmer and trying changes of mental frames, in Christian befuller assurance of grace. Convictions of sin, lievers, are often unavoidable : their experience as they penetrate more widely, form the broader acquainting them with the intermixtures of tremfonndation of moral improvement. And the very bling and rejoicing," one season being clear to turbidness and bitterness of the earlier cares of them, and another dark ; their sky now serene, and the soul, become the measures to the purity and then tempestuous ; the duties performed with sweetness of the succeeding comforts. Why is alacrity and satisfaction to-day, which to-morrow satisfaction in Religion lost or abated? Why are shall be laboured through almost as a penance ; the ordinances of devotion observed, while the the religious services that once seemed to be kinpleasures of devotion are never felt,—the Scrip- dled as “ by a live coal from off the altar,” becoming tures read, the Sabbaths kept, and communions afterwards as if they never had excited the least celebrated, while the blessed effects of these are glow of devotion,—and thus, the mind feeling never received ? Are we really “ in the faith ?" itself pressed on by another “yoke and burden Are we honestly pledged to the cause of Christ ? than what Christ Jesus calls it to bear. Are we dealing truly with the covenant of peace ?
But still, though " the heart of the righteous
be often sad, when the Lord has not made it sad,” who looked for his reward, not to the opinion of the yet inquiries into the state of the soul, both serious world, but to the approval of his own conscience. We and strict, are to be put. We are to “prove and
said that those stated were the only obstacles to the
union ; we should rather have said that they were the examine ourselves,” for ascertaining whether spiritual remissness and secret sin be not the cause
only things that did not strongly recominend it. She
is said to have been very pious and benevolent, and to of spiritual depression. And, in seeking peace have sympathized with him in all his plans of useful
8 at the throne of mercy, these are to form some of ness. In temper and character, she seems very much our unceasing petitions :-“ Lord teach us to to have resembled him ; like him, delighting more in know the plague of our heart. Search us and try the active than the contemplative duties of the Christ
ian. Their views and desires thus harmonising, no us, and show us the evil way that is in us. Lead
doubt they looked forward with delight to the prospect us in the way everlasting. Turn us, and we shall
of spending many happy days together in ministering to be turned. Heal us, and we shall be healed. Save the wants of the poor and the sick in their neighbourhood us, and we shall be saved.”
But ere these dreams of happiness could be fully realized,
it seemed right to “ him who seeth not as man secih," BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH OF
that she should be taken up into that kingdom wbere
sorrow is unknown, and that she who had striven on earth JOHN HOWARD.
to imitate the unwearied benevolence of her Saviour, John Howard was born in 1726 or 1727, at Enfield. His should now be “ received into glory, that she might be father was an upholsterer in West Smithfield, who, by truly like him, seeing him as he is.” Her loss was so his parsimonious habits, and constant attention to busi- | deeply felt by her husband, that for some time he was ness, had amassed a considerable fortune. Of the early unfitted from pursuing his usual employments, and in life of Howard, little is now known. There are no hopes of effacing the memory of his sorrows, set out on anecdotes preserved of the kindly or generous disposin another continental tour, and busied himself with readtions of the boy, though doubtless even at this early | ing and study. stage, he must have given proofs of a nobleness and It is right to mention, that in this year (1756) disinterestedness of character. His education, though | Howard was elected a member of the Royal Society, it occupied but a small portion of his life, was certainly in consequence of some meteorological observations not neglected, as we find that before he reached sixteen, / which he had made and communicaied to a friend of he had been under the tuition of three different masters, his who belonged to that body. This distinction, his one of whom, at least, was a man of some learning. biographers tell us, did not make him proud, and was But his father, either desirous that his son should tread only valued by him in so far as it gave him an opporin his footsteps, or blind to his promising talents, de- tunity of increasing knowledge. termined that no more of his life should be spent in In the summer of this year he paid his second visit acquiring knowledge, which could not be turned to to the Continent. The vessel in which he went was profit. Like some practical philosophers of our own attacked by a French privateer, and he was taken prisoner. day, he perhaps thought that the time which had been When the vessel was landed, the crew was shut up in the expended in acquiring Latin and Greek, had been most Castle at Brest, and for a week endured hardships almost unprofitably wasted, and therefore, at sixteen, he bound incredible. After the week had passed, Howard was offe:him apprentice to a wholesale grocer. In this choice, ed his liberty, provided he promised, on reaching Britain, the party interested seems to have been the only one to use his influence with government, to get a Frenca not consulted ; and it was not, therefore, to be wonder- naval officer exchanged for him, and that in case ke ed at, that young Howard, immediately on coming of failed in this, he would retura. Government was preage, quitted a business which had proved as hurtful to vailed on to fulfil this condition, and he determined to his health, as it was uncongenial to his habits. Having spend the remainder of the year in his own country. thus freed himself from the cares of business, he spent We mention these circumstances thus minutely, becauz two years in travelling in France and Italy, and on re- it was to the hardship which he endured in the Carie turning to this country, applied himself with vigor to at Brest that ho was in the habit of referring his tir: the studies of Natural Philosophy and Medicine. impulse to befriend that unfortunate class of men wie,
There is an anecdote told of him at this time, which from having put law at defiance, are shut out from the shews in a very pleasing light his peculiar kind-heart- sympathies of the world. edness. There was an old man who had, for a long In 1757, he retired to Cardington near Bedford, period, been a gardener to his father, and to this old man, married a daughter of Edward Leeds, Esq. of Croston, while busily employed in the garden, he was for some- in Cambridgeshire, and occupied himself in cultivating time in the daily habit of throwing a loaf over the his estate, and contributing to the comfort and happiwall, saying sportively as he did Harry, look ness of his poor neighbours. He pulled down mary, among the cabbages, and you will find something for cottages, which, either from age, or from dampness of your family.” He also at this time gave largely to situation, were unhealthy, and built others in airy places, the poor, and a considerable sum to assist in erecting allotting to each a small space of vacant ground. These a house to the clergyman on whose ministrations he cottages were let at very low rents to the poorest of attended.
the peasantry. He likewise established free schools fur But while thus busied in doing good, he was seized both sexes, and spent a large portion of his time in visitwith a very severe illness, and ordered by his surgeons ing the sick and the infirm. Nor was his charity conto go to Newington for a change of air. In Newing. fined to his own vicinity, or to the sect to which le ton he lodged with a Mrs Loidore, to whose care and belonged. He originated many schemes of public utility, kindness be ascribed his recovery. Mrs L. was a lady and subscribed largely to those set on foot by others. in narrow circumstances, and considerably advanced in In 1765, Howard was destined to meet with fresh years, but so deep was the impression her kindness calamities. His wife, never robust, had for some time inade on Howard, that he felt himself called upon by been declining in strength every day, and change of a duty to propose marriage. It was in vain that the and scene (for all possible means were resorted to) hau lady represented the imprudence of the step, from the had no effect in arresting the progress of her complaint. inequalities of their ages and rank; he had taken his On the 27th March, of this year, she had borne him a sou, resolution, and these objections (and they were the only and on the 31st, it pleased Providence to remove her from ones that could be urged,) had no weight with a man this world, but so tedious and protracted bad been ber
illness, and so completely was she resigned to the will of salary, paid forty pounds a-year for his office, so great God, that this afflicting dispensation was received by was the revenue extorted from prisoners on their liberher husband with calmness and composure.
ation. These evils he immediately ordered to be remeAfter spending the next four years in his usual works died ; and such was the impression which they had left of 'mercy, and having made some provision for his son's upon his mind, that, having reason to suspect that the education, Howard left this country with the intention other prisons in England were no better conducted, he of travelling in France and Italy. When he had reached determined to ascertain the exact state of every jail, Milan, we find, from a journal which he then kept, that he might be enabled to take steps for rendering that he was so shocked with the superstition of the them more conducive to the improvement and comfort people, and with the manner in which the Sabbath was of the prisoner. With these views, he visited Camprotaned, that he resolved to shorten his stay. But bridge, Huntingdon, Northampton, Leicester, Derby, let us quote his own characteristic language. “I de- Hereford, &c.; and in all these places he found, that termined,” says he, “after much deliberation, to return the jails were small, damp, and in unhealthy situations, without seeing the south of Italy; conceiving it to be and that in many of them there was no chapel nor inimproper, for the mere gratification of my curiosity, to firmary. The debtors' cells, he also found, were desincur the loss of so many Sabbaths, which would have titute of every comfort; there being nothing for the been contrary to the general tenor of my life, and must prisoners to lie upon but mats, and the poorer debtors have given me pain on a death-bed, on a retrospective being scarcely allowed food enough to sustain life. Not view, as unbecoming a disciple of Christ, whose mind satisfied with this information which he had obtained, I wish to have formed in my soul. These thoughts, he extended his researches to York, Norwich, London, with the desire I feel to see my dear boy, determine | Exeter, Bristol, and North Wales. The result of his me to restrain my curiosity, 0, why should vanity and researches in these places was a conviction that, with a folly, pictures and baubles, or even the sight of stupen- few exceptions, all the jails were close and unhealthy, dous mountains, beautiful Wills, and rich valleys, which and that the prisoners, if poor and friendless, were will ere long be all consumed, engross the thoughts of treated in the most inhuman manner, and, from the a candidate for an everlasting kingdom, whom God hath want of those comforts to which they had been accusa raised to the hope of that glory, soon to be revealed to tomed, and the closeness of their cells, suffered very all who are washed and sanctified by faith in the Re- severely from diseases of different kinds. These evils, deemer! O, my soul, look forward to that glorious and the still more grievous ones arising from their beworld of light, life, and love, compared with which ing crowded promiscuously into the same apartment, every thing here is low, mean, and little! The prepa- instead of being placed under the guidance of those who ration of the heart is from God. Prepare, O God! the cared for the welfare of their souls, were felt by Howard heart of thy unworthy creature, and unto thee shall be as of so serious a nature, as to justify him in devoting ascribed all the glory through eternity. Even now, my the remainder of his life to their remedy. trembling soul almost longs to take its flight to regions Mean time the fame of the Philanthropist's labours where sin and sorrow are unknown, and where God, having reached parliament, a bill was brought in " for my Redeemer, is all in all. O, happy spirits, that are the relief of acquitted prisoners, in matter of fees," and safe in these mansions ! they know the wonders of re- another “for preserving the health of the prisoners.” deeming love.” What an exalted idea does this passage The committee appointed for these büls, anxious to give us of the genuine Christianity of Howard, and avail themselves of his information and advice, called bow very rare, even among the best of us, is it to find
upon him to give evidence before them.
" The anone who weighs so scrupulously the probabilities of swers he gave,” says one of his biographers, evil arising from amusements in themselves innocent questions put to him, were so much to the point, the Did all Christians act thus, there were less need for simple statement of the scenes of misery, he had witthe censure implied in that saying of Jesus, that “ the nessed, was given with so much feeling and simplicity, children of darkness are wiser in their generation than and the remarks he made as to the best means of rethe children of light.”
medying the evils, were so judicious, that, on the moBut to return to our narrative. After his wife's tion of Sir Thomas Clavering, a vote of thanks was death, Howard, feeling his interest in his estate at Car- unanimously given him for the humanity and zeal which dington greatly lessened from the many melancholy re- had led him to visit several jails of the kingdom, and collections with which it was unavoidably connected in for the important information, respecting them, he had his memory, employed himself for the next eight years communicated.” Our limits, we regret, do not allow chiefly in the education of his son, and in works of be- us to enter more fully into a detail of his unwearied nevolence. In 1773 he was elected high sheriff for labours, in the cause of the friendless prisoner. Let us the county of Bedford; and so strict were his ideas of merely say that, to the last moment of his life, be conduty, that he thought himself called upon personally to tinued their warm and active advocate, undertaking perform all the duties connected with this office, al- several tours through every country in Europe, with the though his predecessors had been in the habit of de- view of discovering, and publishing several works for volving the more arduous upon others. Of these duties the purpose of making known, their grievances. But the most necessary and important, it appeared to him, thinking (according to the old maxim) that nothing was was the superintendence of the prisoners. For this, done while any thing remained yet undone, he did not nature, if not inclination, had admirably fitted him; rest satisfied with his researches into the state of prisons, and the knowledge of how little had been, and how but resolved to inspect the hospitals, and houses of inmuch might be done in this department, acted as a sti- dustry, in this and other countries. He had observed mulant to exertion. From his investigations into the the rapid spread of contagion in hospitals, and to check state of the jail at Bedford, he discovered that many this, he thought much might be done by good arrangeabuses existed. The male and female prisoners were ment and skilful treatment. In all the towns he visite crowded into the same court yard, an arrangemented, he inspected hospitals suffering from these causes, which had been the cause of much vice-the jailors and suggested to their managers important hints for depended for their livelihood upon the fees they got on their improvement, which he had afterwards the hapthe discharge of prisoners, a practice attended with piness to bear, in almost every case, were adopted, and great mischief, as the poor or friendless were often im- had been found to lessen the extent of the evil. prisoned for several months longer than their sentence Hitherto, in our hurried detail of the actions, we have had prescribed, from not being able to pay these fees too much overlooked the actor, and in our admiration and the governor of the prison, instead of receiving a of the firm and indefatigable spirit of the men, we have
taken no notice of, what, after all, was his highest praise, | high esteem of his services to humanity, subscribed fifteen the principle from which he acted. For it was no vague hundred pounds, or upwards, to raise a statue in his and nameless feeling, but a steady well-grounded prin- honour. Whenever this intended mark of respect was ciple, that enabled him to brave such dangers, and en- | known to Howard, he addressed a letter to the subdure such hardships. Nothing indeed but Christian scribers, in which he expressed his “earnest wish that principle could have prompted and sustained his exer- those who desired his future happiness and comfort, tions, and nothing but a constant looking to the cross of would withdraw their names from the subscription, and Christ could have justified him from the charge of mad- that the project might for ever be abandoned;" and ness in exposing himself to so many dangers. No shortly after writing that letter, on being asked “wby doubt, we often hear of men, strangers to Religion, who he refused the honour that was tendered,” he replied, can depict more vividly, and feel more deeply for the “ who that knows his own heart could receive it! Consufferings of their fellow-men, than perhaps Howard did; scious of many sins and imperfections, I must always men who,
view with pain and abhorrence every attempt of my “ Pampering the coward heart
friends to bring me forward to public view, and public With feelings all too delicate for use,"
approbation.” Of the decision and self-denial of Howard are grieved with every sorrow that afflicts humanity, it is unnecessary to say any thing, for they are proverbial
. and ready to weep with every mourner; but when did Let us hasten, then, to the closing scenes of this good we ever hear of these “ amiable men" undertaking pil- man's life. In December 1789, while engaged in irgrimages to discover and relieve distress, or exposing specting the Russian military hospitals, he was called themselves in infected dungeons ? No_feeling as a upon to visit a young lady of distinction, who was sufmotive to action is weak and fickle. Keen and en- fering from a severe attack of the epidemic. He, at thusiastic in its birth, it allows no difficulty; it can see first, refused to go, on the plea that he only visited the no danger ; but only let something delay the fulfilment poor, but, on being strongly urged, he went reluctantly. of the good resolution, and time will completely efface He paid her two visits, and on the third day after her it from the memory, or it will raise up another feeling first attack, she died. Two days after this, he himself as strong, and perhaps as good, which in turn will was seized with the same distemper, and finding that enjoy its hour of empire. Or to make the most favour- there was no probability of his recovery, he resolved able supposition, let us imagine a case in which the im- to occupy the remainder of his time in preparing for pulse from feeling is so powerful as to urge to instant death. He was now daily visited by Admiral Priestaction; even in this case, the conduct of the man under man, who, anxious to raise his spirits, made frequent its government will be wavering and uncertain, and he attempts to change the conversation from the subject of will require, for every successive act, a new impulse. death, to some less melancholy topic. “ Priest man," But let us not be misunderstood, we do not mean to said Howard, on one of these occasions, “ you style say, that the feelings are not intended as occasional aids this dull conversation, and endeavour to divert my mind and incentives to works of benevolence, but only that from dwelling on death, but I entertain very different used as the motive, and looked to as the sole guide of sentiments. Death has no terrors to me, it is an event virtuous actions, they are altogether worthless. While, to which I always look with cheerfulness, if not with however, we maintain that it was religious principle pleasure; and be assured the subject is now more gratethat originated and sustained the efforts of Howard, it ful to me than any other. I am well aware that I have is but justice to his memory to add, that he was pos- but a short time to live. Had I lived freely, I might, sessed of the warmest feelings that
perhaps, by altering my diet, have a chance of recovery; “ By nature tuned,
but my abstemious mode of living has rendered this imAnd constant disposition of his thoughts To sympathy with man, he was alive
possible. The subject upon which I especially wish to To all that was enjoyed, where'er he went,
see you is that of my funeral. There is a spot near the
village of Dauphigny, where I should like to be interred: But let us also add, that this very virtue of tenderness there let me be buried : but let me earnestly beg of you, of heart, he frequently mentions in his journal as form- as you value an old friend, not to allow any pomp or paing a great obstacle to works of benevolence.
rade at my funeral, nor to suffer any monumental inscripNo man ever thought more humbly of his own labours tion whatever to be placed over my grave; but lay me than Howard. “I am the plodder,” said he, at one quietly in the earth, place a sun-dial over the spot, and let time, “ who collects materials for men of genius." At me be forgotten.” These were among the last words another time we find him making the following sincere Howard spoke. A few days after (the 20th January confessions of his unworthiness. “ I have to record 1790) he died. When his death was made public, the the goodness of God to the unworthiest of his creatures, deepest sorrow was expressed by all classes, for all lored in having experienced, for some days past, an habitual him
as a friend to their common nature.
He was buried serious frame ; much contrition for my sin and folly; at Dauphigny, a village near Cherson, and was honourpower to apply to the blood of Jesus for pardon ; faithed with a larger and more splendid funeral than corsolemnly to surrender myself and babe to him, begging responded with his expressed wishes, or than might have the conduct and guidance of his Holy Spirit; more been expected in a place so far distant from his native tenderness of conscience, I would humbly hope, and a country. greater fear of offending God; a temper more abstracted from the world ; more resigned to life or death ; thirsting for communion with God, as my Lord and my THE DIVINE BENEVOLENCE. God. O the wonders of redeeming love! I, even I,
ILLUSTRATED BY FACTS DRAWN FROM GEOLOGY. have some faint hope, through the perfect righteousness and full atoning sacrifice of the divine Redeemer, I shall “It is illustrated by the nature of the soil resulting frolo be made a monument of the free mercy of God, through the decomposition of the various rocks. Such decomChrist Jesus. Shout, O my soul! grace, grace : free, position, it is well known, is the origin of all soil: and rich, sovereign, unbounded grace! To myself I cannot we can see no reason in the nature of things, why the ascribe it. I am an ill and a bell-deserving creature ; materials furnished by this process of disintegration but where sin hath abounded, I trust grace super- should be adapted to the growth of those plants that are abounds." And to give another instance of his un- necessary for the sustenance and comfort of animals. affected humility. In 1787 when the Philanthropist’s | But such is almost universally the case.
True, there fame had spread over all Britain, some friends, anxious are wide deserts; but other causes (the chief of which *o express their admiration of his character, and their is a periodical deficiency of moisture) besides the want
And all that was endured."
of power to sustain vegetation, mainly contribute to those pleasing curves which most of them now exhibit, make them such. And in this adaptedness of soils for and to render them capable of cultivation. In most so great a variety of plants as are necessary for the sup- level countries, this diluvial and fluvial agency has proport of a far greater variety of animal natures, we think duced all the valleys that exist, and which are generally we see a clear indication of divine benevolence.
sufficient to form the beds of rivers, and redeem their “We discover similar indications in the disruption, banks from waste and desolation. elevation, dislocation, and overturning of the rocks in “We find, then, that we are indebted to the volcanic the crust of the globe. With few exceptions, the strati- power within the earth, and to the aqueous agency that fied rocks were originally deposited in nearly a horizon- has so repeatedly and powerfully swept over its surface, tal position. But we now find them, the older strata not only for bringing to the light of day the mineral reespecially, tilted up at all angles, and divided by nu- sources of the globe, but for all that diversity of surface merous fissures, along which extensive lateral, vertical, which gives so much beauty and grandeur to the landand oblique movements have taken place; whereby the scape, and is indispensable for the circulation of a fluid, continuity of their layers has been destroyed, their edges whose motion is prolific of beauty and life, but whose made to overlap, and often whole mountains to exhibit stagnation is death. Can we any longer doubt, that the appearance of a mighty ruin. Into these fissures there is design and benevolence in the apparent disorder the unstratified rocks have been protruded in every pos- and ruin of the crust of our globe? Surely here is desible mode, and are often piled up in the most irregular sign in the midst of confusion ; beauty spreads over a manner upon the stratified rocks, so that the impression scene, which, under another aspect, seemed but desolamade upon the mind of the observer is altogether one tion and ruin, and the kind visage of benevolence beams of the wildest disorder and desolation. We can hardly upon us, where just before we saw only the flashes of avoid the inference, that when we compare all this con- an avenging Deity's wrath. fusion with the beautiful order and harmony which na- “ We derive another evidence of divine benevolence ture, in all her other productions, exhibits, that we have from the mode in which metallic ores are distributed at length got into the region of " chaos and old night;" | among the rocks. If the great mass of the globe has and that it is the wreck of creation which we see; the been formerly in a state of fusion, as nearly all geoloterrific mementos, perhaps, of some former penal inflic- gists now admit, the useful metals, being for the most tion upon a guilty race. But our impressions and infer- part the heaviest materials of the earth, would have ocences are hasty and erroneous. The scene before us is cupied the centre, and become enveloped by rocks and only a new mode for the exhibition of divine skill and earth, so as to be for ever inaccessible to man. But benevolence. Suppose the strata had been left in a either through the expansive force of internal fires, or horizontal position, one of the consequences would by sublimation from the same cause, or by the operation have been, that all, or nearly all those beds and veins of of galvanic agents, or in some other unknown method, limestone, coal, and metallic ores, that are now so ex- a portion of these metals is disposed in the form of veins tensively wrought in almost every country, would have in nearly all the rocks at the surface.' That the great remained for ever hidden in the depths of the earth. mass of these metals is actually accumulated in the But the elevation and dislocation of the strata bring central parts of the globe, is probable from the very them to view, and facilitate their exploration. Now, great specific gravity (about twice that of granite) of consider what would be the condition of man if depriv- the internal portions of the earth. Now, what but died of lime, coal, and the metals. Was there no design, vine benevolence should thus, in apparent opposition to no benevolence, then, in the means by which they were gravity, have forced towards the surface just enough of brought within the reach of man?
the metals to serve the important purposes of human “ Design and benevolence are exhibited in the produc- society for which they are employed? They might tion and arrangement of the valleys that chequer the have been thrown in immense masses, and in a metallic earth's surface. And most of these valleys were origin- state, over that surface; but the fact that industry alone ally produced by the same elevating and dislocating can now obtain them, is another proof of design and agency which we have seen to be so serviceable in other benevolence, since this virtue is of more importance to respects. For, had the strata never been thrown up and human happiness than even the metals. disarranged, the earth's surface must have remained a “ And is not the relative proportion as to quantity in dead level, and the sea would have covered the whole which the different metals are found, another evidence of it. Or, if we suppose dry land to have existed, yet of the provident foresight and benevolent care of the without valleys, water could have existed on it only in Deity? Iron, by far the most useful, is far the most stagnant ponds and lakes. Morasses, and the rank vege- abundant, and most easily accessible. Of lead and coptation of low and wet regions would have filled the at- per, which are extremely important, but not so indismosphere with pestilential miasms; and, indeed, have pensable as iron, there is no lack at a moderate price. rendered the globe uninhabitable by such natures as now And as we proceed along the scale of the useful metals, dwell upon it. In consequence of the existence of val
we shall find, for the most part, that the quantity of leys, the water, raised by evaporation, and falling upon the metal is proportioned to its utility. the mountains, finds its way to the great ocean, keep- scarcity of gold and silver gives them their value; for, ing itself and the atmosphere pure by its agitations, af- were they as abundant as iron, their use as a circulating fording a wholesome beverage to all classes of animals, medium must be abandoned. Yet, scarce as they are, and sustenance to the whole vegetable kingdom ; and their astonishing ductility and malleability enable the aiding, in a thousand ways, to fill the world with beauty, artist to spread them over an immense extent of surlife, and happiness. But without such an arrangement face, and thus to employ their most valuable property, of valleys as now diversify its surface, this great system that of resisting oxidation, on a scale nearly commensuof circulation could not be carried on.
rate with the wishes of man. In all these facts, can we "All existing valleys, however, cannot be imputed to fail to recognise a wisdom and benevolence which God the original elevation and disruption of the strata. But only can possess? in this mode were most of them commenced; though The accumulations of rock salt, gypsum, limestone, without subsequent modification, they would have been and coal, in the earth in past ages, affords another exhionly frightful rocky chasms. Powerful diluvial and bition of divine foresight and benevolence. Geologists fluvial action, therefore, has been repeatedly permitted are agreed that all these substances were produced in a to operate upon the sides and bottoms of these valleys, ' gradual manner, though as to the mode in which the to wear away their angular projections, and fill up their two former were accumulated, they have not the most deep and irregular cavities with soil, so as to give them satisfactory evidence; but the origin of the various